Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards was anxious, though knows more wins will improve nerves
PUBLISHED: 11:02 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 December 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
Former Academy Director discusses forward options at the club, team selection and importance of clean sheets
Andy Edwards conceded he was nervous towards the end of Leyton Orient’s 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley in League Two, but knows the more their confidence grows, the less apprehensive everyone associated with the club will be come the conclusion of tight matches.
Saturday’s success at Brisbane Road was O’s first victory at home in all competitions since August 30.
Jay Simpson’s 65th minute goal handed Orient all three points at the weekend, though it was tense at times.
“We were nervous to an extent and I was on the side and that is natural when you are at the wrong end of the table,” said Edwards.
“I think if we are at the top and have got a run of form going, we maybe win that a little more convincingly.
“The focus is on clean sheets and as time develops hopefully we come more attractive to watch, but at the moment it is about getting points on the board and climbing the table.”
Paul McCallum’s introduction off the bench two minutes before the hour mark helped O’s get on top.
A 23rd minute red card to Accrington skipper Sean McConville handed Orient the upper hand also, yet they struggled to test away custodian Aaron Chapman.
McCallum was immediately into the action after his introduction and wrestled with Omar Beckles to head down for Simpson to fire home the only goal of the game.
Edwards added: “The hardest thing was selecting the side because for the last two weeks every player has trained excellently and performed well.
“We try to replicate what we see in training on the pitch and that was the toughest thing, but it was good play down the right with Gavin Massey and Myles Judd.
“When the ball goes into the box, McCallum is generally on the end of things and his presence and aggression helped the chance fall to Jay and he put it away.”
Simpson was perhaps surprisingly partnered by Jordan Bowery from the off against Accrington, who was making his first start since October 29.
Ollie Palmer remained an unused substitute at Brisbane Road on Saturday after McCallum, Teddy Mezague and Michael Collins was called upon.
Yet Orient’s manager insists the ex-Mansfield Town forward has a big role to play as does 17-year-old Sam Dalby, who only signed his first professional contract with the club last week.
“We have got a number of good strikers. Ollie didn’t get on the pitch and he has been excellent,” said Edwards.
“He is under huge consideration for us along with McCallum, Jordan and Jay. We have Sam Dalby as well along with one or two other young players that are in our mind.
“We need to find a consistent formula that is going to win us games and we’ve spoke as staff and as a group of people at the club about trying to get clean sheets.
“You’ve always got a chance if you do that and we said it is about being patient because if it is the 85th minute when we score, we’ll take it, but fortunately it was earlier than that.”
Orient were far from vintage, although when you’ve lost eight consecutive games at home, it truly is all about winning and not how you do it.
The victory also importantly ensures Edwards’ team will almost certainly be out of the bottom two at Christmas.